The Supreme Court Confronts a Public Health Challenge: Homeless Encampments

The United States is facing a homelessness crisis with 653,000 unhoused people. California has a significant homeless population, leading to health issues like chronic diseases, drug abuse, and mental illness. The U.S. Supreme Court will address the legality of fining or charging homeless individuals for living outdoors. California Governor Gavin Newsom is investing in clearing encampments, while some homeless advocates oppose this. Clearing encampments may worsen the health of homeless individuals and strain relationships with caregivers. Sweeps can also increase hospitalizations and costs. Despite the public health implications, the priorities of politicians do not always align with the health concerns of homeless individuals.

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